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Christina Eckenreiter

Christina Eckenreiter
Project Title: 
Bovine Sperm Ca2+ Signaling and Energy Pathways in Basic Science and Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART)
Program Year: 
Animal Science
Pablo Visconti

This past summer my project was focused on the study of bovine sperm function and how it can be used to improve assisted reproductive technologies (ART) and ultimately benefit animal production. We propose the development and study of novel sperm treatments for cattle in vitro production: transient application of Ca2+ ionophore to sperm (A23187 pulse), and the use of Sperm Energy restriction and Recovery (SER). Both of these treatments have shown significant increase in fertilization rates as well as the number of eggs that reach the blastocyst stage. Currently, the cattle industry sees about 70% fertilization success with the use of in vitro fertilization, with about 50% of those eggs reaching blastocyst stage. My project’s goal is to improve sperm function, fertilization and post-fertilization events, and increase the efficiency of embryo production in both number and/or quality of embryos able to generate healthy offspring in the cattle industry which would have an enormous impact on a global scale.